Mega-developer will affect us all

To the Editor:

Thank you for the coverage of this as-yet unnamed mega-developer for Woodlawn, Washington Park, and South Shore that is using the Obama Presidential Center as its cover. The Herald adroitly recognizes what the crew putting this mega-community development organization together is trying to ignore: Hyde Park is intimately related to any development spurred by the Obama Center.

What is needed to capitalize on the potential of the Obama Center is not some massive top-down developer but a bottom-up mechanism to manage change in each of the communities surrounding the center. It is my hope that the crisis represented by this announcement sparks some community engagement and that we see proposals in all of the contiguous neighborhoods for an alternative to a quasi-public development corporation trying to run multiple South Side neighborhoods. If that idea is not a recipe for disaster, then I don’t know what is.

Gabriel Piemonte